Too many streaming options to choose

I can’t help but feel cable may very well be going the way of the dodo.

I was watching TV with my family recently, listening to my Mom complain that “there was nothing on” while I scrolled through my Twitter feed.

I came across the trailer for the upcoming HBO two-part documentary, “George Carlin’s American Dream,” which chronicles the life and career of the late legend of stand-up comedy.

The Judd Apatow-Michael Bonfiglio project is set to premiere on May 20. To my dismay, the show is only going to be available to stream on HBO Max.

Gone are the days of the bygone era of (checks watch) 2015 when Sundays at 9 p.m. was a standing appointment for “Game of Thrones,” or before even that, when HBO was considered THE premium cable channel.

If I want my Carlin fix next weekend, I’m going to have to shell out whatever the price is for one month. With the recent announcement of the “Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” coming in August, that will likely last longer than that.

But HBO is hardly alone here.

“South Park” has a new special set to come out in June on Paramount+, aptly titled “The Streaming Wars.”

Obviously, Disney+ is no stranger to this either. Marvel series like “Loki” and “Marvel’s What If?,” as was Star Wars projects like “The Mandalorian” and the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on May 27, are all shows that can only be found on streaming services locked behind paywalls.

It’s a shame that cable customers, who already pay an arm and a leg for television services, now have to pay even more to watch “premium” content. It was one thing a decade ago when you had Netflix and Hulu, and neither cost all that much and you could justify having both. For a while, Hulu even had a free version with ads.

Today, you have so many options to stream content that if you bought subscriptions to all of them, you could be spending almost as much as you are on your cable bill.

And there are some folks out there that actually do that AND pay a monthly cable bill on top of it.

I can’t afford that. I make good money at the newspaper, but I still have bills to pay and other things to do besides watching television … after all, I have video games to buy, too.

As much as I love television, I’ll have to be choosy. My bank account demands it.

But what does all this mean for cable customers, or “the corded?” If you’re a higher-than-average TV consumer, your days of paying for cable ought to be numbered.

Dan Isenberg writes about gaming, tech, nerd culture and whatever suits his fancy for the Altoona Mirror. He can be reached at disenberg@altoonamirror.com or on Twitter @TheseDanTweets.


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